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Top 10 dates to look forward to in 2024

MIES (Switzerland) - Nothing's better than reflecting on a truly spectacular year in international basketball unless, of course, you're imagining how special the big events are going to be in 2024!

Here is the best of international hoops coming up next year.

10 - FIBA 3x3 Universality OQT 2 (May 3-5); FIBA 3x3 OQT in (May 23-26)

With Serbia, USA and China in the men's Olympic 3x3 Basketball Tournament, and USA, China and France in the women's 3x3 field, five more countries will join each tournament. The men's and women's teams that win in Utsunomiya, Japan (May 3-5), will clinch spots, as will the top three men and top three women in Debrecen, Hungary (May 23-26). A men's team and women's team will also win spots at the FIBA Universality OQT 1 (date and location TBA).

9 -Tip-off for FIBA U17 Basketball World Cups season - June 29

USA beat hosts Spain at the last FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup

The city where East meets West, Istanbul, will be a hotbed of hoops at the end of June and beginning of July as rising stars from around the globe attempt to dethrone USA at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup, the only winners this event has ever known since its launch in 2010. The team wearing red, white and blue lifted the trophy in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2022.

Later in July, the FIBA U17 Basketball Women World Cup will be played in Central America.

USA defeated Spain in the 2023 FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup Final

Defending champions USA will be favorites to win the U17 Women World Cup in Mexico (Leon and Irapuato) but there'll be plenty of competition. France qualified by winning the U16 European Championship, and both U16 Women's Asian Champions Australia and U16 African champs Mali will also have title hopes. The final of the U17 Women's Basketball World Cup will be held on July 21. 

8 - International window for Continental Cup Qualifiers - February 22

Home crowds have been huge for Puerto Rico in the international windows

One of the most intense and competitive days on the calendar is when teams around the world launch bids to qualify for continental championships. No matter the region - Africa, Americas, Asia or Europe - it's must must-watch, compelling sport and the best part is you'll be able to see games in person, on television or via streaming.

7 -  EuroLeague Women Final Four tips off - April 12

Fenerbahce beat CBK Mersin in last year's Final Four

The best players in the world compete in the EuroLeague Women, and the best of the best will be at the Final Four. Will Emma Meesseman and Fenerbahce make it two titles in a row or is another team going to pull off a shock win?

6 - FIBA Intercontinental Cup - September 15

The second year of a three-year run in Singapore is going to be fun after a 2023 event more than lived up to the hype when BCL Americas winners Sesi Franca stunned BCL champions Telekom Baskets Bonn to lift the trophy.

5 - FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournaments start - February 8

All eyes in international basketball will be on Antwerp, Belem, Sopron and Xi'An as countries try to book return trips to the Olympics or qualify for the first time. Will there be another surprise team like Puerto Rico, who stunned Brazil last time in Bourges, France, and made it to Tokyo?

4 - Olympic Qualifying Tournament 2024 Finals - July 7

Mark this date on your calendar! Four countries will win FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament (OQT)  Finals in Piraeus, Riga, San Juan and Valencia to clinch places at the Summer Games in France.

3 - Opening Ceremony for 2024 Olympics - July 26

Australia legend Lauren Jackson was a flag bearer at the 2012 London Olympics

How many basketball players will have the honor of serving as flag-bearers at the Opening Ceremony for the Olympics in France as so many have in the past? The 2024 Olympics will have a fairytale start, with the expectation that half a million spectators will line the River Seine and applaud as the countries' athletes travel down on boats.

2 - Women's Olympic Gold Medal Game - August 11

Sue Bird led the USA past Rui Machida and Japan in the Gold Medal Game

The USA are favorites to reach the top of the podium at the Olympics in France for an eye-popping eighth consecutive time, yet several other national teams, including the hosts themselves, will be looking to surprise them! Which nation will win gold on August 10?

1 - Men's Olympic Gold Medal Game - August 10

Kevin Durant led the USA past France in a thrilling Tokyo  Olympics Final

Could a rematch between USA and hosts France be on the cards at the 2024 Olympics? World Cup winners Germany, runners-up Serbia and third-placed Canada are already in the tournament field and will have their own determination on capturing gold.